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Comment: Re:Just (Score 4, Interesting) 158

by dj245 (#49149377) Attached to: Can the Guitar Games Market Be Resurrected?

Learn to play real guitar ..

Or any other instrument. I bought a $150 banjo, a $12 electronic tuner, and a $15 book (ISBN 978-1883206444) about 5 weeks ago. I've only had time to put in about 8 sessions of 30-60 minutes but that's all it took to start sounding somewhat good. I was concerned I would annoy my wife to death but the banjo sounds good even in the hands of a beginner.

Comment: Re:where? (Score 2) 191

by dj245 (#49139231) Attached to: The State of Linux Gaming In the SteamOS Era

Nearly one third of my 900+ games on Steam not enough for you?

Hell, the thing isn't even out yet and already it's prompted hundreds of developers to release their games on Linux too.

Video games are not a commodity like brown sugar. There may be slight differences between brown sugar manufacturers but 99% of people aren't going to notice. There may be "open world third person shooter with grappling hooks" games available for Linux, but I don't want to play "open world third person shooter with grappling hooks", I want to play Just Cause 2. If Just Cause 2 isn't in that 1/3 of games that Linux supports, then no, the progress on games for Linux isn't enough for me.

Comment: Re:Razer Forge TV (Score 1) 191

by dj245 (#49138435) Attached to: The State of Linux Gaming In the SteamOS Era

For me local game streaming effectively kills the notion of the SteamBox. Why have multiple powerful expensive PCs when you can have one and a $99 low power ARM box attached to your TV.

Have you actually tried to use the streaming regularly? For me, the input lag is significant enough to make it a nonstarter. There are a lot of little quirks too. I'm very happy they added the feature, but it isn't usuable for some games.

Comment: Re:Realistic (Score 2, Informative) 362

by dj245 (#49130163) Attached to: The Groups Behind Making Distributed Solar Power Harder To Adopt

Use some sort of market rate. If there's a lot of supply, but not a lot of demand at a given moment, the price drops.

That's pretty much what we have now in many areas of the US (not all). It is called Locational Marginal Pricing, or LMP. You can see various realtime pricing maps by searching Google for "LMP map". Here's one of them.

The problem is that the people advocating for "net metering", AKA "I want to sell my power at full retail rates", don't want to pay to keep the grid maintained. The LMP price is wholesale. Getting that power to where it is needed requires transmission lines, and transmission lines need maintenance and have a basically fixed capacity. Therefore, there are real costs involved in transporting electricity from where it is generated, to where it is needed. "Net metering" is a fancy way of saying that you don't want to pay those costs.

Generation costs (wholesale cost) + Grid transmission fees = retail price

You are more than welcome to run an extension cable to your neighbor, but if people want to sell to the grid, they need to accept that the grid costs money to maintain, and demanding that utilities pay retail rates for wholesale electricity isn't going to happen.

Comment: Re:Companies ask for it (Score 1) 186

by dj245 (#49127995) Attached to: Jury Tells Apple To Pay $532.9 Million In Patent Suit

Were your ideas relevant 10 years ago? Or did you perceive some problems which are only becoming relevant now?

Maybe he invented a "better way to do things", which was ignored for some time because changing would have required breaking the inertia of proven technologies. Then when companies today are trying to shave 0.2s from boot times, or improve performance by 3%, they see the value in doing things differently. I could easily see that happening.

Comment: Re:Do no evil... (Score 1) 285

by dj245 (#49120545) Attached to: Google Knocks Explicit Adult Content On Blogger From Public View

That was a long time ago. Google has ignored that line the minute they became a publicly traded company. Every decision they make is how to benefit their stockholders.

Oh really? Because it sounds like they are basically shutting out the adult industry from their Blogger platform. If they wanted to maximize money, they would analyze adult content and serve up relevent ads, the same as any other industry. Budweiser certainly doesn't have a problem with selling alcohol to strip clubs. Johnson & Johnson doesn't take offense when adult stores stock K-Y Jelly. Google's business is analyzing data and serving up ads. Not leveraging a specific type of data to make money, for seemingly moral reasons, doesn't strike me as benefiting the stockholders.

Comment: Re:Artists paid 16 times as much for Spotify than (Score 1) 303

by dj245 (#49114183) Attached to: Pandora Pays Artists $0.001 Per Stream, Thinks This Is "Very Fair"

If people weren't so set on getting Free Shit, this wouldn't be a problem.

But it seems a lot of people think they have a RIGHT to listen to music, created by others for the purpose of selling and providing an income, for FREE.

Look at all the bitching and moaning that happens on Slashdot about how shit should be free. Fuck You. Shit cost money to make and distribute and you fuckers should be paying for it.

Paid music is a relatively recent innovation. Back in the day, people made music for fun, without pay. Then we went through a period where the very wealthy financed music, either by paying musicians a salary to hang around with the King and play things on request, or by wealthy individuals commissioning music to be written.

The concept of the average Joe paying for music is only about as old as devices which could record and play back music. In addition, this time period almost completely overlaps with the time period in which we had free broadcast radio, where you could just pay a 1-time fee for some hardware and listen to the radio with no additional costs.

Comment: Re:How does this compare to radio? (Score 1) 303

by dj245 (#49114113) Attached to: Pandora Pays Artists $0.001 Per Stream, Thinks This Is "Very Fair"

Hahahahahaha! $4.99/month for what is little better than radio, (which as far as I know is still free,)...

Satellite radio (SiriusXM) packages start at $9.99/month and go up to $18.99/month. If you want to listen to Howard Stern, or any sports, or their up to the minute traffic and weather, or get any of the 70 stations not included with the cheaper plan, then you need the more expensive option. If you want to listen to sports and that includes both NFL and any other one (MLB/NHL/NBA/etc), then you need the most expensive package.

When the two were competing (Serius and XM), the lineup differentiation made sense. Now that they're one company, it just looks like they're milking it for every dime they can get: $9.99 = 80 channels that are essentially those in common between the two $14.99 = 140 channels from the old lineup (either the Sirius lineup (howard stern, NFL, NASCAR) or the XM lineup (MLB/NBA/NHL)). $18.99 = 150 channels with the combination of both of the special features.

$4.99 for ad free pandora seems about right. Granted, I think they should all be cheaper, but I rarely listen to anything.

And SiriusXM is a nasty company to deal with to boot. Tons of hidden fees, subscriptions are renewed in sneaky ways, and they treat their customers like crap. I bought a brand new car a year or so back. The Dealer "registered" the radio with SiriusXM, but this doesn't mean that the radio was active. It wasn't, and the radio wouldn't play anything from the satellite and demanded that I call SiriusXM. I was going on a 2 month business trip and decided to call Sirius when I got back to start the free 3-month trial. When I called them, they told me that they couldn't give me the full 3 months because my dealer "registered" the radio with them 3 months before. I fully expected them to cave if I escalated the issue high enough, but they refused to budge.

Comment: Re: About right (Score 2) 241

by dj245 (#49113973) Attached to: In Florida, Secrecy Around Stingray Leads To Plea Bargain For a Robber

You dont understand the crime. The VICTIM determines, by thier natural reaction, what the crime is. If i BELIEVE that you are threatening me with a weapon, it doenst matter what it turns out to be. The fear it induced is the basis of the crime, not the actual item.

No. The test is usually what "a reasonable person" would have thought, not what "The VICTIM" thought. There are lots of unreasonable people in the world who are crazy and would be fearful if someone tried to shake their hand in greeting. This also defeats the problem of victims who thought one thing at the time of the incident then later changed how they thought of the incident. Rather than debate what Joe was thinking about (impossible to argue/debate) we can make arguments on what a "reasonable person" might have thought.

Comment: Re:Lawyers rejoice!! (Score 4, Insightful) 114

by dj245 (#49113935) Attached to: Lenovo Hit With Lawsuit Over Superfish Adware

I have a feeling this is less about recovering from damages and more about teaching them a formal lesson (well, cashing-in under the guise of teaching them a formal lesson).

That's the entire point of a class action suit. To stop powerful companies from doing a large number of small harms and getting away with it.

Comment: Re:Last week ... (Score 3, Informative) 290

by dj245 (#49108143) Attached to: How Walking With Smartphones May Have Changed Pedestrian Etiquette

I am not the gpp you responded to...

I am a native Californian who was taught both that pedestrians have the right of way in crosswalks and that it would be shameful to walk out into one against the lights, including entering with the flashing don't walk sign that is equivalent to a yellow light for drivers. People who crossed randomly in mid-block would be ticketed for jay-walking if observed by a cop, and found at fault if they were run down by a car. As a bicyclist I was taught that I should ride in the roadway and follow vehicle rules including direction of travel, signaling turns, and observing traffic control signals and right-of-way rules.

Continuing to live in California now in my forties, I observe so much behavior that is counter to what I was taught and obeyed. I don't know if it is all immigration with newcomers having learned different rules. Or, it might just be a general erosion of a sense of civic responsibility. Or I might just be turning into a cranky old man who complains about kids these days.

I frequently bicycle to work using a circuitous route that links scenic paths and bike lanes to minimize my time sharing lanes with cars. I have seen more close calls in the past few years than I saw in my entire life before, with cars clearly running red lights, overtaking and swerving across bike lanes with no concern for cyclists occupying the lane, etc. I have also seen so many cyclists and pedestrians doing equivalently careless things like crossing against lights, ignoring direction of travel rules, and mindlessly entering and leaving the roadway without looking.

Police used to issue tickets for these things. But sitting in a speed trap maximizes more revenue. I have never heard of anyone in my lifetime (30 years) getting a ticket for actual unsafe driving, despite seeing it every day. Everyone I know has gotten a speeding ticket however.

Comment: Re:The younger generation will eventually rule! (Score 1) 57

by dj245 (#49108111) Attached to: Iran Allows VPNs To Make Millions In Profit

American sanctions and persecution keep the religious hardliners in power in Iran. Just like they kept the Communists in power in Cuba. We turned China into a capitalist "Western" country (just like us) using trade and open borders, there is no reason it won't work in Iran.

Same as North Korea. And the US to some extent. You need a big bad enemy to keep people distracted from the real problems.

Comment: Re:Single ecosystem (Score 1) 42

by dj245 (#49092641) Attached to: US To Monitor Air Quality In India and Other Countries

First you deregulate trade, and you use that to pressure your suppliers to have the lowest possible cost. In order to achieve this, the suppliers must crush workers in remote countries and fuck the environment... and suddently you discover that there is only one single ecosystem and that pollution affects you.

It is nice to see a US government that acknowledges there is general interest linked to environment. What will come next? They should push international environmental regulations that trump trade deregulation. I wonder if I will live long enough to see that.

Maybe the nations of the world should meet and discuss such a protocol. It will probably take a couple months to round up all those diplomats. I propose mid-April. The cherry blossoms should be blooming in Japan around that time. How about meeting in Kyoto? Beautiful city with plenty of high class hotel rooms.

Comment: Re:Interesting, time for some real world tests (Score 1) 328

by dj245 (#49074705) Attached to: Federal Study: Marijuana Use Doesn't Increase Auto Crash Rates

I believe we should test this, in the real world. Get 30 to 100 people. Setup a course with fake cars and such. Have them all drive it without anything in their system. Then get them drunk and do it again. Then when they are sober, let them smoke pot, and do it again. Then once that is clear have them drink and smoke pot, and go yet again. Then for fun, do it with someone who is just smoking a cig while driving. Compare the results.

What we really need is better crowdsourcing funding of scientific studies. Big business bankrolls their own science all the time, often paying university professors to do their R&D for them. Marijuana enthusiasts need a mechanism to fund studies too. I would be happy to drop a lot of money on rigorous studies into marijuana effects. There is an incredible amount we don't know. Just as an example, I don't know of any study which tries to pin down the various effects of marijuana by comparing vaporization / ingestion (THC + CBD + ??) and combustion (THC + CBD + CO2 + CO + toulene + benzene + soot/tar + ???). Anecdotal evidence suggests that some of these nasty combustion products are responsible for "couch-lock". They might be responsible for other effects but we just don't know.

Comment: Re:But, but, you're using logic and science (Score 1) 328

by dj245 (#49074605) Attached to: Federal Study: Marijuana Use Doesn't Increase Auto Crash Rates

You mean like how they call it a narcotic, and a hallucinogen, when in fact it is neither?

If I smoke enough, sometimes I experience visual halucinations like this. It takes a lot of weed and it much more apparent with eyes closed. Sometimes I can see an object at the intersection point of the rays- usually somethingor someone I care about deeply, like my wife. This artists' self-portrait makes me think that I am not the only one to see such things. The "rays emanating outward from a central point with X in the middle" seems to be a common motif. It also appears in a lot of "psychadelic" posters and 1960's-era art.

Let's not fight marijuana falsehoods with other falsehoods. THC seems to cause visual hallucinations, or at least visual artifacts, in a non-zero amount of people. That doesn't mean that these effects are dangerous, but denying them means that you are basing your arguments in lies, just like anti-marijuana arguments.

"You know, we've won awards for this crap." -- David Letterman